The Tim Buckley Archives

Album Reviews

Tim Buckley: Starsailor
(Straight stereo STS 1064; 43s 10d*)


I'm not that familiar with Buckley's work, but I understand this isn't his first attempt to step out of the solo folk singer role into experimenting with rock and jazz backings.

With Lee Underwood, guitar, electric piano and pipe organ; Buzz Gardner, trumpet, flugel horn; and Bunk Gardner, alto flute, tenor sax, among the musicians augmenting Buckley's twelve-string and vocals this is a jazz-orientated set which, to my mind, is a brave but ill-judged project.

Instead of allowing the musicians to lay down suitable backings within the limits of the song, Buckley has given free rein, choosing to become himself part of the arrangements and using his voice partly as an instrument, getting almost Plant-like on certain tracks.

It's an interesting experiment but an album that is very hard going for the listener, with a few exceptions where Buckley achieves the tunefulness he is best known for.

Titles: Come Here Woman, I Woke Up, Monterey, Moulin Rouge, Song To The Siren, Jungle Fire, Starsailor, The Healing Festival, Down By The Borderline.

(* This the price in British pre-decimal money - 43 shillings and ten pence. It could also have been writen as two pounds, three shillings and ten pence or £2 3s 10d. The US equivalent in 1969 would have been approximately $5.25)

Melody Maker, published in the United Kingdom, was, according to its publisher IPC Media, the world's oldest weekly music newspaper. It was founded in 1926 as a magazine targeted at musicians
In 2000 it was merged into sister publication
New Musical Express.

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